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Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine is 94.5% effective

NEW YORK: ‘Moderna’ on Monday declared that its experimental vaccine against COVID-19 was 94.5% effective according to early results from a clinical trial with more than 30,000 participants.

Moderna’s CEO Stephane Bancel said, “This positive interim analysis from our Phase 3 study has given us the first clinical validation that our vaccine can prevent COVID-19 disease, including severe disease.”

The analysis evaluated 95 confirmed Covid-19 infections among the trial’s 30,000 participants.

Moderna, which developed its vaccine in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said 90 cases of Covid-19 were observed in the placebo group versus 5 cases observed in the group that received its two-dose vaccine. This resulted in an estimated vaccine efficacy of 94.5%, it said.

The announcement follows on the heels of similar news last week from Pfizer’s late-stage Covid-19 vaccine trial as pharmaceutical companies across the world race against the clock to find ways to prevent the virus.

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Earlier, Pfizer Inc’s vaccine showed to be more than 90% effective and pending more safety data and regulatory review, the United States could have two vaccines authorized for emergency use in December with as many as 60 million doses of vaccine available by the year’s end.

A key advantage of Moderna’s vaccine is that it does not need ultra-cold storage like Pfizer’s, making it easier to distribute.

Moderna expects it to be stable at standard refrigerator temperatures of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius (36 to 48°F) for 30 days and it can be stored for up to 6 months at -20 degrees Celsius.

Pfizer and BioNTech are continuing to accumulate safety data and currently estimate that a median of two months of safety data following the second (and final) dose of the vaccine candidate – the amount of safety data specified by the FDA in its guidance for potential Emergency Use Authorization – will be available by the third week of November.

Additionally, participants will continue to be monitored for long-term protection and safety for an additional two years after their second dose.

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